The department of worldwide relations and cooperation (Dirco) has slammed statements made by an Australian politician, who says his country is examining the fast-tracking of visas for white South African farmers because of the dangers they apparently face in South Africa.
Cape Town - As the call for land expropriation intensifies, Australia's home affairs minister has reportedly instructed his department to consider fast-tracking the visa applications of white South African farmers who want to escape the "horrific circumstances" they are forced to endure in their home country.
The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) said on Wednesday that it was regrettable that the Australian government did not use diplomatic channels to raise its concerns.
"The people we're talking about want to work hard, they want to contribute to a country like Australia. And I think these people deserve special attention and we're certainly applying that special attention now".
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It is not clear whether Dutton was referring to farm-murder statistics, or the South African government's recent undertaking to explore land expropriation without compensation.
White people still own around 72 percent of individually-owned farms, with the black majority owning just four percent, according to an audit cited by Ramaphosa this week. Under the current system, a refugee would first need to be referred by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to the Australian government.
His comments come just months after asylum-seekers and refugees held in a remote Pacific camp were awarded Aus$70 million ($56 million) for being illegally detained and treated negligently in Australia's largest human rights class action settlement.
"There is no reason for any government in the world to suspect that a section of South Africans is under danger from their own democratically elected government". "That threat does not exist".
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"I doubt white South African farmers will make the move to Australia".
Dutton's call for a white South African visa program is a shift away from Australia's widely criticized handling of refugees on Manus Island late previous year, when hundreds of males were herded onto a small strip of land under the control of Papua New Guinea.
"We have taken a decision that all agricultural unions in South Africa meet to help farmers in the country, black and white".
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